Friday, June 21, 2013

What is New About the Imprint?

It seems that new research is confirming much of the Primal position. This is especially true of the work of Michael Meaney and Moshe Szyf (McGill University,Canada). (see for example or or,68,1181 ) They are critical work on epigenetics, and how imprints through methylation can be passed down from one generation to another.

They don’t call it an imprint but that is what it is……a key repressed memory that endures and persists throughout our lives; it drives behavior and symptoms. It turns out that imprints can be passed down from parents to baby and from grandparents to baby. Methylation depends on the work of the chemical methyl group which is recruited when there is a traumatic event, and helps embed that memory. . It seems that when there is a surge of methylation part of it attaches to one element of the gene known as cytosine. It is now part of the DNA and turns on or off certain hormones and other neuro-chemical processes.. Once that happens methyl is recruited and the genetic unfolding is thereafter altered.

In short, methylation can be an agent of repression. A study at Duke University showed that when female mice were fed a diet rich in methyl it completed altered the fur pigment of the offspring. In other words, it acted like a genetic inheritance when it was not. It was the result of experience and that is the linchpin of our theory… epigenetics.

As a result of this study the two scientists from Canada, (Meaney and Szyf) thought, if that is true why shouldn’t it be true of other experiences such as bad mothering or negligent parenting? Well, it was and epigenetics research exploded. Think of that: traumatic events in very early childhood leave a mark or tag on a gene that affects us just about forever. They found that even grandparents affected the imprints of the grandchildren, which we will get to in a moment. But suffice to say that the experiences of our forbearers can endure and be passed down the genetic chain, the inheritance of acquired characteristics. This is something science thought impossible decades ago.
 What the scientists found is that the right amount of licking and grooming early on left offspring with less chronic stress hormone output as adults. It is what we all know; that early love makes us stronger and less anxious. But it turns out that if the mothers were licked and groomed early on in their lives, that experience could be passed on. The genes could be modified by the methyl group (and also other chemicals) in a beneficent way. Good history in the mother, good childhood for the children. And more loving by the mother the less methylation in the child . And with less chronic stress hormone production there is far less chance of serious diseases later on such as Alzheimer’s.

To make sure that these changes in the rat pups resulted from experience and not hereditary, they let normally stable rat pups be raised by neurotic negligent mothers. And the result was still the same,; unstressed babies. These babies had mothers who had normal amounts of methyl in their systems. Thus rats raised by loving mothers could pass it onto offspring even when the adopted mother was not loving. The genes for stress hormone output had minimal methylation. In other words love was passed down the genetic chain. So normal babies raised by negligent and inattentive mothers still had low methyl levels in their hippocampus. The babies started life one leg up, a good start in life despite a bad childhood. I believe that changes in the genes, methylation and acetylation, must occur very early as the whole neuronal system is evolving. So before we can state what causes depression or anxiety, we need to observe the early epigenetics at work. Again, pups born to unloving mothers were handed over to loving mothers, and those born to bad mothers reared by loving mothers still seemed to be normal and relatively un-methylated.

Here is one more reason this research is important: they found that unloving mothers of rodents causes methylation of the estrogen receptors in female offspring. Then when they had offspring of their own the offspring were deficient in estrogen which made them less attentive and loving to their own babies.  We as yet do not know how many key chemical processes can be affected by lack of early love. And more, we have no idea how many hormones are changed in neurotic mothers (heavily methylated) and how that affects myriad adult behaviors. Is depression inherited? There may be precursors for it which is never manifested if there were plenty of love later in childhood. Is some of the tendency to methylation inherited or epigenetically passed on? And does that form the basis for depression? It seems from the research just cited that that neurotic mothers (methylated), are ineluctably forced to be unloving, thus laying the groundwork for depression in the offspring later on. And what other hormones are depleted by this scenario? Are we born with a tendency to anxiety? Possibly but then the imprint is not methyl so much as acetyl., in this case. With acetylation there are more faults in the repressive system and “holes” in the gating system. Acetylation (recruiting acetyl) pretty much produces the opposite of methylation, a tendency to open rather than close.

Early trauma produced heavy methylation in those children who grew up in orphanages. And that process then affected much more in terms of brain and neuronal development. So when we find a mother who is not loving we need to know that she may being driven by her epigenes; she is a victim of those changes. Her cortisol/stress hormone level militates against maternal instincts. Methylation shuts down a number of “natural” behaviors. In neurosis we cannot be natural and appreciate nature because we are disconnected and alienated from our own nature.. We cannot rely on our feelings to guide us because they have effectively been shut down; we are alienated from them. Literally, the feelings are aliens. We have found that patients on the verge of these feelings in sessions often run a fever. The body treats the feelings as a menace, a danger and something to be avoided; yet it is also what can liberate us.

Can we reverse or undo methylation? The research informs us that with rats who had been damaged, and raised by unloving mothers, when they were infused with trichostatin did not show evident damage. As though the trauma never occurred. This drug removes methyl from the system. It did, in brief, undo history. This is what I think may be happening with our patients. In the reliving there must be a change in methylation so as to reverse history; this is what we shall study in our future research projects. It seems to me the natural way provides far less possibility for collateral damage to the system. Since we already have found that chronically high cortisol levels have been reversed in our therapy, it would perhaps follow that methylation could also be reversed. In a way, the levels of methylation can be a marker for having been loved early on or not having been loved. We could tell more than the statements by the person who claims he was loved in his childhood if he were indeed not loved. How much denial is there?

Neurochemistry may be better relied on because it has no reason to lie and wouldn’t know how to do it even if possible. It can be a marker for post traumatic stress or how much repression exists in ADD. Or how much pain/repression is there in Alzheimer’s disease? We already have some information in this regard because autopsies on depressive/ suicides found them to have been heavily methylated in the hippocampal area. The more abuse as a child in these cases the more methylation produced. When we add this to our future research on telomeres and cortisol we will begin to have precise measures of the pain in us. And we will know when a drug is too dangerous for us, particularly the drugs like marijuana that tend to open us to ourselves; to our feelings and pain. Finally we will have a marker for the efficacy of certain psychotherapies.  Does the therapy undo the past? Does it help relieve repression and therefore depression? Is there great first line pain in anxiety states? What seems to be the case is that love obviates methylation and produces normal souls.


  1. Dr. Janov,

    “Our past rules our lives”.

    We, the childhood victims, have known all of our lives that this is true. Nevertheless, for many, many years we were told, “get over it”.

    Now victims have scientific evidence detailing why we cannot “get over it” unless we can lift (with primal therapy) NR3C1 epigenetic methylation.

    1. Sieglinde: Neurobiologic science is racing far ahead of psychotherapy. If only therapists would read the literature. art

  2. AFAIK, epigenetic inheritance has long been suspected but was most substantially proven (or pushed into the limelight) when, in Sweden, health records of a sample of people with diabetes were compared with records of the availability of food to their grandfathers during their slow growth period just before puberty.

    Again as far as I understand the concept of epigenetic inheritance, it is the non-DNA proteinic component (the detailed chemical conformation of the histones) of chromosomes in germline cells that must be able to be altered (as a result of individuals interacting with or being relatively passively influenced by environmental factors), an alteration by methylation in interplay with acetylation that must be stable across *at least* two generations, in order for epigenetic inheritance to significantly affect people's bodily and brain properties.

    I don't think it is helpful to the 'Primal cause' (or the potential for primal theoretical/therapeutic insights to become more politically influential) to stretch or dilute the meaning of "epigenetic inheritance".
    IOW, I would personally prefer if this meaning was not messed up in the minds of people remotely similarly to how, to me annoyingly, the expression "being proud of" has come to be widely used in the sense of "like". ;-}

    I don't dismiss the distinct possibility that epigenetic inheritance can to some extent also to co-determine the building of people's individual modular repertoires of mental and motor behaviors; and thus also co-determine which of those "actention modules" that are functionally incompatible, and that therefore in principle will as if 'mutually compete' (i.e. "compete" according to a maximally generalized brain functional principle of "lateral inhibition"), will become transiently "paid" actentions (i.e. paid in the currency of neural metabolic resources), or in other words, which action modules will 'post a metaphorical win in this metaphorical competition' :-).

    This metaphor would be inEPT without a 'cheering and booing audience' - by which I mainly mean current and conditioned-in (past) influences by environmental factors during each behaving individual's (am mainly referring to brainy animals) lifetime.

    One can make this metaphor 'even less incomplete' (more meaty) if one considers that "the audience" also include past environmental factors that caused both epigenetic imprinting and, still further back, 'phylogenetically significant' lifetime challenges - i.e. significant naturally selective challenges {lifetime "pressures"} that were met/not met by suitably/not suitably genetically endowed individuals of populations of which our common individual ancestors were the suitably endowed - and of course sometimes distinctly mutant - members).

    I also don't have problem with the hypothesis that stress hormones chronically caused to be secreted by CURSES (primal pain) can cause a shortening of telomeres, or that persons who dispel CURSES by means of proper primal therapy might achieve both longer telomeres and and longer lifespans.

  3. Dr. Janov,

    “They don’t call it an imprint but that is what it is……”

    Don’t worry, they will get there. Science has now proven a lot that you have known for years.

    My satisfaction is, that the questions I asked scientists in 1992 through '97, (regarding what kind of damage adults who were abused in childhood, must live with) were mostly dismissed as nonsense: Children grow out of their early experience! But now we find scientific proof - even epigenetics.

    I however cannot let go. I send these early rejecters (professors etc.) the latest results with my earlier questions and attach their arrogant answers to me.

    So wait and be cool; one day you can rub their noses in it (the ones who reject the PT-theory.


  4. I get in the car to go to my regular cafe which is open on Sundays. The night has been "anguished" so I feel a little out threads because everything has not ached finished.

    What strikes me is that I have been in a state that in no way is close to being in my bed but still something I experienced in an intensity that took everything that touched my consciousness. At what force sentiments makes it known! It took my entire "system" in possession!

    To experience something that has nothing to do with where I am at the moment... it is not easy to separate the concepts of... not before than I twins reason why I experienced something so confusing... my emotional memory about to make themselves known to come to my consciousness of what was happening... happening then... when I felt my dad’s madness... who threatened to beat me for my need of him.

    Being in a state of mind that separates me from the how I interpret the place I'm at ... what can be more confusing?

    I'm "always"... in one way or another in a state of mind that does not at all correspond to reality... yes... to the reality of what was but is no longer... which in its intensity tells of a truth... truth when I was as a little child... desperate little child in need and at the same time on the run from my dad. One hell of state... but also me the little Frank... why I also have to cherish it... nurture it for my need to come to the consciousness of me the little Frank.

  5. Dr. Janov,

    Talking about imprint:

    "The SNP is in the COMT gene, which is involved in regulating the “feel-good” hormone dopamine. It has also been linked with breast cancer risk — Asian-American women who have an A at one or both copies of rs4680 and also drink black or green tea appear to have a decreased chance of developing the disease. People with an A in both copies of rs4680 have been shown to break down dopamine less efficiently. Studies have also correlated the variant with behaviors such as obsessive-compulsive disorder."

    1. Sieglinde: This is a bit technical for me and the readers I think. art

  6. What a fascinating piece!

    "Her cortisol/stress hormone level militates against maternal instincts. Methylation shuts down a number of “natural” behaviors." "Mummy Brain" where Mum's feel disjointed from the world and frazzled. If cortisol is the chemical that shuts down the higher centre's of the Brain so the body can fight or run is it any wonder such Mother's become more agressive and less maternal. They are driven by lower centre's of the Brain that feel under threat. I think it was shown that victims of the holocaust brought children into the world who were also traumatised by the very same events they were so horrific. Effected at an inherited DNA level.

    1. Hi,

      I just spotted this article about post natal depression:

      Professor Dimitris Grammatopoulos, who led the research at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, described the research as being "extremely important".

      He told Sky News: "There is evidence that if you can identify women at risk early you could treat early or introduce measures to prevent or stop the process of the disease."

      According to the news channel, a study of 200 pregnant women, published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research, found two molecular "signatures" in the genes that increased the risk of postnatal depression by up to five times"-.

      The actual treatment is not suggested but I suspect it would be antidepressants.

      Paul G.

  7. thank you Art for your effort...perfect timing.. i need some more time of careful reading to
    grasp the information. it sounds new and very interesting.. questions rise but i now i should and i want to read it more carefully... want but can't ((

  8. Hi Art

    I am wondering if the authors of these studies. M. Meaney, G. Turecki and Moshe Szyf know about your work and whether you might be collaborating with them.

    I am also wondering if the change in DNA methylation can be tested in Primal patients ( before and after therapy). Perhaps this methylation/demethylation change occurs not just in cells from the hippocampus but in other body cells whose DNA could then be readily collected and tested. This would then provide a strong scientific link between your work and epigenetics.


    1. Steven: It is exactly what we will look into. art

  9. The process between the limbic system and neo cortex... a basis to write off the academic formation as a science within psychiatry and psychology!

    If we rule out the cause of what a process is guilty in our research... so do we enter into a process without cause and we are lost in our own perception... the cause is crucial to account for the scientific content.

    The broader question is whether we then will be interested or not!?

    If the question "why something is happening" is not the basis of science... then is the science of reason lost.

    The dilemma is... what they discover can be a content to stop half-way... depending on an achievement they are happy with... an academic maze with only thoughts of his task... an occupation for an effect that is not of science to its cause!

    They would know by “now”... if they were listening!


    1. Frank,

      Give me a break, look, at the Centre the patients provide the evidence.

      As an outsider (if you're not a patient) you can't really talk about 'proof' and 'evidence' in legal terms unless you posit a claim as an individual claimant.

      Only after we have been through the mill (so to speak) can we collectively make a case for Primal. Interestingly as far as I can see, no group of ongoing Primal Patients have collectivized to do this, yet.

      As a member of a very well developed social system of care / benefits in UK, I can say that to make a claim under these constraints you have to take up a position of 'claimant seeking services not available under the current scheme'.

      If you and other 'potential claimants' were to collectivise (Prior to receiving 1 year of Primal Therapy) you would apply for the therapy from your government's existing health system directly, as an individual member of your social system, in need of "Care", not available under the current EU standards. All European Union countries have a common policy on this by the way but it is notoriously hard to access. I believe if one persists with a few “strong cases” the legal side of it begins to sway. . . etc etc

      European Countries have agreements about what all this means. “ Setting a New Precedent” is an outcome.

      We all know you can't necessarily 'get what you want', but, in the words of that famous song: -"you might just get what you need"-.

      To do this one may need to make an individual stand / claim. Be prepared to argue your case and elicit the help of people who could be 'expert witnesses'. There would be many who would support the trauma / consequences theory. . . not hard to find. . .

      Out of that random unconnected effort made by individual claimants, a group of ‘pre therapy claimants’ might be able to collectivise, form a ‘not for profit’ organisation and TOGETHER ‘claim the funds available to pay for services not available under the current service provision’. But first individuals will have to face their 'social system music'.

      Get it?
      This is actually the path of least resistance; but as Apollo so often implies (and I am no exception): we people , humans just ‘love’ to make life complicated for ourselves when solutions are often staring us in the face.
      I really like the efforts Seiglinde has made over many years because it shows that with persistence individuals really do stand a chance of making some forward moves both as individuals and then as a collective.

      Paul G.

    2. Hi Frank,

      It's amazing that 'forensic science' absolutely looks for causes. . .

      But most other branches of science do not ?

      It's like a seriously bad joke isn't it ?

      I can only conclude that forensic scientists, like archaeologists and paleontologists aim at causes and origins because there is a payoff for finding them. It is their professional 'raison d'etre'.

      Unfortunately there is little payoff for most other branches of science to discover causes because the payoff is so frequently defined by their sources of funding and that 'motive' is profit. An extreme example of this was the involvement of 'science' in disproving the link between lung cancer and tobacco, for the tobacco industry.

      Perhaps we could set up a new investigative science of "Scientific Deceit". Researching and collating all those sciences following blind alleys and then analysing the evidence to discover the 'motives', the causes. . .

      We might even get some forensic scientists on board to help. I mean what would the Police make of scientists using public funding to fail to discover originating causes because of a 'conflict of interests'?

      That's deliberate fraud isn't it?

      Paul G.

    3. Paul:
      I just read your replies and I am wondering about your answer to Frank (1 July): what do you mean with "collective" ( last line).
      Thanks for explaining it a little bit more.

      Richard W.

    4. Hi,

      here's another perspective:

      The purposes of collectivizing are many.
      Primal patients don't really need to collectivize because once induced in the system their individual needs are met. Yet by default they also become advocates for Primal through the evidence of their own progress. Individuals seeking funding from outside agencies for Primal Therapy are probably dependent for their proof on those who have already gained some improvement through having actually had the therapy. That really is the only proof. One can draw apon science research to describe one's own condition but ultimately the only 'proof' of the therapy is from those who have achieved health improvements themselves. The Centre cannot become the representatives of their patients in this respect as it has not the funds nor expertise. The Centre could produce a standardised statement outlining the treatment it offers and why it works for people with various conditions, but that is the most the Centre could do.
      Maybe, some post Primal patients could collectivise to support a group of pre Primal patient’s applications for funding from their various funding bodies in countries of origin etc. A supporting 'petition'.
      Most individuals who join groups or collectivise find that the need to remain a member disappears as soon as their personal needs get met. Thus groups form temporarily, they have a limited life.
      It has been said that groups that remain 'permanent' are potentially suspect; the question emerges: "has this group achieved it's aims"? Or has it lost it's way?
      Obviously this doesn't apply to communities of individuals living in houses together to settle down and raise children (!).
      So the purpose of collectivising for pre therapy patients would be to pool resources. More specifically not so much to pool finances (although actually getting funded is a crucial outcome of-course) but to pool their efforts in petitioning the authorities and various funding / medical bodies in order to gain "INFLUENCE" and specifically influence with those agencies in the position to fund therapy not available under the existing provision.
      Alone, individuals seeking funding and support to do Primal have little or no influence. In an organised group, a collective, these people stand a much better chance of forming a successful "PRESSURE GROUP".
      There are official channels for such groups to appeal to governments directly. Some government agencies welcome 'applications' as it is their business to do precisely this under legislation called: 'Social Inclusion Policy'. Whether these 'applications' get anywhere is another thing. Nevertheless, historically, 'pooling resources' got a fair few pressure groups what they wanted in the past and that can be repeated in the future.

      Existing 'power groups' don’t let 'outsiders' in without resistance. All existing power groups (government bodies etc) have some type of Quality Control to make sure the money they hand out doesn't go to the wrong people (!) So, who ever "We" are, "we" can expect hassle and friction along the way. But a way does exist and with sufficient pressure a group of applicants for Primal Therapy are quite likely to get a lot of funding, the money is definitely there but a labyrinth of Q/C checks will stop any old bullshitter from getting funds not worthy to them. A thorough ‘case’ will need to be presented on an individual basis, one by one. A collective could really help write those ‘cases’.
      Individuals who are in a 'delicate position' regarding their condition and are compromised by 'admitting their problems' to officials who are unlikely to understand (ie: have no empathy) can benefit from membership of a support group /collective because such an organised group can protect the interests of it's most vulnerable members can't it?

      Or it bloody well should !

      Paul G.

  10. Dr. Janov and all,
    Talking about imprint and gene-methylation.
    My DNA results are back confirming everything I was feeling for many years.
    Among others one of the most upsetting findings are: Neuroblastoma, Ankylosing, Spondylitis, Meningioma and PSP.
    Neuroblastoma, an embryonal tumor of the autonomic nervous system, meaning that the cell of origin is thought to be a developing and incompletely committed precursor cell derived from neural-crest tissues.
    Ankylosing Spondylitis is a form of arthritis that primarily affects the spine.
    PSP (Progressive Supranuclear Palsy).
    Meningioma is a type of brain tumor that originates from the meninges, which are the tissues that surround the brain and spinal cord.

    These conditions/imprints are prenatal and the first few months after birth.

    Now I hate my mother even more, because I had these conditions and the related symptoms since very early childhood and she ignored my pain, saying that I’m just lazy and find excuses not to work hard.

    1. Sieglinde: Oh my! I am really sorry, I hope you are getting proper medical treatment for all this. art

    2. Sieglinde

      I am really sorry, too for you are such a clever lady and really don't deserve all this! (How many of us get in life what we deserve, I wonder?) But still, you've had to be so brave and have endured so much through out your life from what you have told us. I really wish you a way to health and primal therapy and some happiness. Sandie.

    3. Dr. Janov,

      An MRI is scheduled for the PSP and I will see the neurosurgeon who did my Chiari Malformation. Blood tests are also scheduled. Maybe I'm lucky and results will tell me that some of these brain conditions are not active yet.

      However, my Spinal Stenosis is active since the age of 4. As a child and teenager I collapsed many times doing hard labor.

      While other children on School vacation went with their parents on holiday, my mother “rented” me out for field work. After I collapsed in the field, the farmers send me home. My mother didn’t care why I collapsed: All she did was yell, “you are good for nothing”.

      I wish I could come to the Primal Center now.

      Thanks for caring.


    4. Sieglinde, I have been reading about all of those conditions. PSP sounds very serious. I'm sorry you have to deal with this awful news. I don't think you should worry about the statistics because I think your intelligence and willpower give you an advantage that will make you different to the statistics. Best wishes to you, Sieglinde.

    5. Sieglinde: I wish so too. art.

    6. Richard Atkin
      Your support and confidence in me feels so good. We will see what the MRI will reveal.
      Thank you.

      Dr. Janov,
      Thank you.

    7. Hi Sieglinde,

      also the best wishes for you from Monica ( do you remember- weight watchers..) and I keep my fingers crossed for you!!!
      Thank you for sharing your deep experiences here. Please take care of you, I'm also thinking about your fulltime job with Alex.....
      Monica S.

    8. Hi Monica S,
      I do remember Monica, but I don’t think it was at weight watchers. I never attended weight watchers. Thank you so much for your well wishes.
      kindly, Sieglinde

  11. To everyone at the primal center,

    There is a website which exists to debunk primal therapy. That website was written by two former clients of Janov's primal center. The website includes allegations that primal therapy may be an authoritarian, abusive cult, and that abusive behaviors were routine at Janov's center.

    I believe that the allegations on that website of cult abuse are absolutely false. (Like I need to tell you guys that).

    I have encountered additional evidence which I believe undercuts' the debunkers credibility as witnesses. I have written an article about it, at the following URL:

    I would appreciate if some of you would link to the above article, so that it will have a higher ranking in google search results. That way, readers will have that information available to them when evaluating the debunkers' credibility as witnesses. I think it would be best if my article appeared right below the debunking website on google search results.

    I should have defended the primal center against those incorrect allegations, earlier than this. I am truly sorry for that. I would have posted it earlier, however I was afraid that the debunkers would take revenge in some way, by suing me or something else. I got the impression from them that they are deeply vengeful and combative people.

    Best wishes,

    1. Desmond: When you deal with paramoids it is endless because everything you say is misinterpreted and twisted. Best not to engage. art

    2. Desmond: Thanks so much for this comment. I do hope others will get on it. art

    3. Hi,

      I'm really not surprised to hear this because it seems such a common phenomenon in human society as a whole, it's not just Primal. Though as usual I am shocked.

      -"When you deal with paranoids it is endless because everything you say is misinterpreted and twisted. Best not to engage"-. art

      My personal experience is that I have been a magnate for paranoids since I was small. But you know when "you leave feelings behind there is no end to the bullshit you can concoct"; (or believe).

      Sometimes, those who deeply need feelings and strongly desire passion find exactly that "but in another person". . . Consequently, from the inevitable 'conflict of interests' they may get a little 'burned' by the friction of relating with some one hotter than themselves, too passionate for the paranoiac; their own repression perhaps turns into a projection and then they must rail against passion and feelings, or despise it; or poo poo it in some way. . . Even though that's what they desperately wanted in the first place!

      It's a toddler's reaction to excessive control and it's a good sign when they say "NO". . . it's when they start setting maniacs up on pedestals that the trouble really starts.

      Many more merely 'tergivistate'. IE: they're just looking the other way.

      Some even acquire a new model for feelings from having associated with a person more passionate and feeling than themselves. There is a whole obsessive 'art' movement with 'artists & artizans' etc. We can buy the objet d'art which shows us feeling and passion from others but doesn't actually get the individual closer to who they really are. Though the 'dedicated follower of passion' (art) might believe it. They are 'happy' with their fraudulent new self, copied from someone else. Many of these have huge bookshelves filled with interesting books by Gombridge & Jung etc etc.

      Perhaps these people are the ones who 'need' help most because they are really feeling deep inside but they also have such terribly complex defenses. . .

      Paul G.

    4. Art,

      "When you deal with paramoids it is endless because everything you say is misinterpreted and twisted."

      No kidding. It would be hard for me to explain how far the debunkers took that.

      "Best not to engage"

      I know it's best not to engage. Believe me, I know. Thanks for the warning though.

      However, I object to the debunkers' incorrect accusations. I've seen the debunkers post a long series of _drastically_ wrong accusations and suspicions. I feel I need to say something. I feel I must dispute incorrect allegations, because it's the right thing to do.

      On wikipedia, I don't think anyone there (besides the debunkers) would have seriously believed the accusations the debunkers were making. I'm pretty sure that the administrators of wikipedia knew what to make of those accusations. The administrators knew perfectly well that the agendas the debunkers envisioned, weren't really happening. In fact, the administrators eventually voted unanimously to ban the main debunking author.

      On the debunking primal website, however, the debunkers try hard to come across as objective, disinterested social scientists who are just describing what they saw. They do not have the same hysterically aggrieved tone they had on wikipedia. It seems possible to me that someone might believe some of their accusations, especially since primal therapy is obscure and most people don't know what happens at the primal center.

      I think my article will correct the record.


    5. Desmond: Thanks. This is a real service. art

  12. Hi All,

    off topic

    Check out Horizon on BBC I player "What makes us Human" with Dr Alice Roberts.
    Some very interesting stuff in there, as well as some 'old hat assumptions'.

    Paul G.

  13. Hi All,

    I just found this in Yahoo news:

    -"Almost a third of children have considered or attempted suicide by the time they turn 16, according to a new survey.

    Research for the new mental health charity MindFull also shows that 29% had self-harmed because they felt "down".

    The charity is so alarmed by the finding that it is offering 11 to 17-year-olds immediate access to free online counselling with professionals and says it will be working with schools to educate young people on how to cope with mental health issues.

    Gestational and birth trauma the cause? Drugs given to their Mums?

    Yet again we have a demonstration of how repression in researchers is the cause of failing to seek out causes in their subjects. A complete failure to look back far enough to discover the terrifying truth.

    This thing about drugged neonates; we make non prescribed drugs illegal and call them dangerous, we control the prescription of legal drugs to adults and children because we know they can be dangerous. Great. But, we totally fail to see the danger of drugs on the unborn child and at birth.

    Could any one persuade these researchers to see how many of these suicidal children had mothers who were given strong pain killers / sedatives when pregnant with them. Is it difficult to research this?

    It's like the 'paddling kids' issue. It's illegal for me to slap you if you don't do what I want you to do and we all agree such behaviour is violence yet some of us still believe such coercive punishment is good for children. What is all this denial about childhood pain?

    Paul G.

  14. Sort of off topic though obviously the imprint is trauma here is the UK's latest great way of treating the 1 in 4 teenagers who suffer from depression and worse in the UK. 1 in 4!!!!!

    No longer is Face to Face therapy even worth doing. It seem that many teenagers find it difficult to tell anyone they feel down and depressed. Has anyone thought they might have learned at a very early age that they were not allowed to complain, not allowed to get angry, not allowed to say No. Who to? Their Parents!

  15. Art! Dr.Gerson Therapy and for that matter Budwig Therapy. are imo!!!
    NOT booga booga......
    Everyone! I had heard of who had undergone brain surgery sooner or later...
    died after those cruel medical intervention!!

    Sometimes I think of Mr.Shakespeare`s poem:
    As flies for wanton boys,
    are we to the Gods(clothed in white!)
    they kill us for their sports(and income)

    Yours emanuel

  16. An email comment:
    "A month ago i was having a trigger that threw me into first line all i could feel was first line terror.
    that has been paralyzing me for 4 weeks I did not have any energy anymore.

    I felt it for 4 weeks almost day in day out, and finally i came out of it 3 days ago just in time to go on vacation.

    But after the last feeling, in which I went in and out first line, i cried like a baby and early 2 line and than 3 line
    I am so happy that after feeling the feeling I had so much energy had that I good do all the work at home that i needed to do before I could go on vacation.
    I was about 5 years old and was not able to function normally like an adult, this was a new to me and felt terrible.

    My insight is, that my entire life has been driven by anxiety, every day , was there anxiety and a feeling of being insecure

    I would have loved to be secure and happy to start another new day. there was never such a thing for me.

    Now I feel alive again! What a relief.
    Tomorrow we go to France with our caravan for a vacation.
    We want to travel a couple weeks in that beautiful country to enjoy life."


Review of "Beyond Belief"

This thought-provoking and important book shows how people are drawn toward dangerous beliefs.
“Belief can manifest itself in world-changing ways—and did, in some of history’s ugliest moments, from the rise of Adolf Hitler to the Jonestown mass suicide in 1979. Arthur Janov, a renowned psychologist who penned The Primal Scream, fearlessly tackles the subject of why and how strong believers willingly embrace even the most deranged leaders.
Beyond Belief begins with a lucid explanation of belief systems that, writes Janov, “are maps, something to help us navigate through life more effectively.” While belief systems are not presented as inherently bad, the author concentrates not just on why people adopt belief systems, but why “alienated individuals” in particular seek out “belief systems on the fringes.” The result is a book that is both illuminating and sobering. It explores, for example, how a strongly-held belief can lead radical Islamist jihadists to murder others in suicide acts. Janov writes, “I believe if people had more love in this life, they would not be so anxious to end it in favor of some imaginary existence.”
One of the most compelling aspects of Beyond Belief is the author’s liberal use of case studies, most of which are related in the first person by individuals whose lives were dramatically affected by their involvement in cults. These stories offer an exceptional perspective on the manner in which belief systems can take hold and shape one’s experiences. Joan’s tale, for instance, both engaging and disturbing, describes what it was like to join the Hare Krishnas. Even though she left the sect, observing that participants “are stunted in spiritual awareness,” Joan considers returning someday because “there’s a certain protection there.”
Janov’s great insight into cultish leaders is particularly interesting; he believes such people have had childhoods in which they were “rejected and unloved,” because “only unloved people want to become the wise man or woman (although it is usually male) imparting words of wisdom to others.” This is just one reason why Beyond Belief is such a thought-provoking, important book.”
Barry Silverstein, Freelance Writer

Quotes for "Life Before Birth"

“Life Before Birth is a thrilling journey of discovery, a real joy to read. Janov writes like no one else on the human mind—engaging, brilliant, passionate, and honest.
He is the best writer today on what makes us human—he shows us how the mind works, how it goes wrong, and how to put it right . . . He presents a brand-new approach to dealing with depression, emotional pain, anxiety, and addiction.”
Paul Thompson, PhD, Professor of Neurology, UCLA School of Medicine

Art Janov, one of the pioneers of fetal and early infant experiences and future mental health issues, offers a robust vision of how the earliest traumas of life can percolate through the brains, minds and lives of individuals. He focuses on both the shifting tides of brain emotional systems and the life-long consequences that can result, as well as the novel interventions, and clinical understanding, that need to be implemented in order to bring about the brain-mind changes that can restore affective equanimity. The transitions from feelings of persistent affective turmoil to psychological wholeness, requires both an understanding of the brain changes and a therapist that can work with the affective mind at primary-process levels. Life Before Birth, is a manifesto that provides a robust argument for increasing attention to the neuro-mental lives of fetuses and infants, and the widespread ramifications on mental health if we do not. Without an accurate developmental history of troubled minds, coordinated with a recognition of the primal emotional powers of the lowest ancestral regions of the human brain, therapists will be lost in their attempt to restore psychological balance.
Jaak Panksepp, Ph.D.
Bailey Endowed Chair of Animal Well Being Science
Washington State University

Dr. Janov’s essential insight—that our earliest experiences strongly influence later well being—is no longer in doubt. Thanks to advances in neuroscience, immunology, and epigenetics, we can now see some of the mechanisms of action at the heart of these developmental processes. His long-held belief that the brain, human development, and psychological well being need to studied in the context of evolution—from the brainstem up—now lies at the heart of the integration of neuroscience and psychotherapy.
Grounded in these two principles, Dr. Janov continues to explore the lifelong impact of prenatal, birth, and early experiences on our brains and minds. Simultaneously “old school” and revolutionary, he synthesizes traditional psychodynamic theories with cutting-edge science while consistently highlighting the limitations of a strict, “top-down” talking cure. Whether or not you agree with his philosophical assumptions, therapeutic practices, or theoretical conclusions, I promise you an interesting and thought-provoking journey.
Lou Cozolino, PsyD, Professor of Psychology, Pepperdine University

In Life Before Birth Dr. Arthur Janov illuminates the sources of much that happens during life after birth. Lucidly, the pioneer of primal therapy provides the scientific rationale for treatments that take us through our original, non-verbal memories—to essential depths of experience that the superficial cognitive-behavioral modalities currently in fashion cannot possibly touch, let alone transform.
Gabor Maté MD, author of In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters With Addiction

An expansive analysis! This book attempts to explain the impact of critical developmental windows in the past, implores us to improve the lives of pregnant women in the present, and has implications for understanding our children, ourselves, and our collective future. I’m not sure whether primal therapy works or not, but it certainly deserves systematic testing in well-designed, assessor-blinded, randomized controlled clinical trials.
K.J.S. Anand, MBBS, D. Phil, FAACP, FCCM, FRCPCH, Professor of Pediatrics, Anesthesiology, Anatomy & Neurobiology, Senior Scholar, Center for Excellence in Faith and Health, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare System

A baby's brain grows more while in the womb than at any time in a child's life. Life Before Birth: The Hidden Script That Rules Our Lives is a valuable guide to creating healthier babies and offers insight into healing our early primal wounds. Dr. Janov integrates the most recent scientific research about prenatal development with the psychobiological reality that these early experiences do cast a long shadow over our entire lifespan. With a wealth of experience and a history of successful psychotherapeutic treatment, Dr. Janov is well positioned to speak with clarity and precision on a topic that remains critically important.
Paula Thomson, PsyD, Associate Professor, California State University, Northridge & Professor Emeritus, York University

"I am enthralled.
Dr. Janov has crafted a compelling and prophetic opus that could rightly dictate
PhD thesis topics for decades to come. Devoid of any "New Age" pseudoscience,
this work never strays from scientific orthodoxy and yet is perfectly accessible and
downright fascinating to any lay person interested in the mysteries of the human psyche."
Dr. Bernard Park, MD, MPH

His new book “Life Before Birth: The Hidden Script that Rules Our Lives” shows that primal therapy, the lower-brain therapeutic method popularized in the 1970’s international bestseller “Primal Scream” and his early work with John Lennon, may help alleviate depression and anxiety disorders, normalize blood pressure and serotonin levels, and improve the functioning of the immune system.
One of the book’s most intriguing theories is that fetal imprinting, an evolutionary strategy to prepare children to cope with life, establishes a permanent set-point in a child's physiology. Baby's born to mothers highly anxious during pregnancy, whether from war, natural disasters, failed marriages, or other stressful life conditions, may thus be prone to mental illness and brain dysfunction later in life. Early traumatic events such as low oxygen at birth, painkillers and antidepressants administered to the mother during pregnancy, poor maternal nutrition, and a lack of parental affection in the first years of life may compound the effect.
In making the case for a brand-new, unified field theory of psychotherapy, Dr. Janov weaves together the evolutionary theories of Jean Baptiste Larmarck, the fetal development studies of Vivette Glover and K.J.S. Anand, and fascinating new research by the psychiatrist Elissa Epel suggesting that telomeres—a region of repetitive DNA critical in predicting life expectancy—may be significantly altered during pregnancy.
After explaining how hormonal and neurologic processes in the womb provide a blueprint for later mental illness and disease, Dr. Janov charts a revolutionary new course for psychotherapy. He provides a sharp critique of cognitive behavioral therapy, psychoanalysis, and other popular “talk therapy” models for treating addiction and mental illness, which he argues do not reach the limbic system and brainstem, where the effects of early trauma are registered in the nervous system.
“Life Before Birth: The Hidden Script that Rules Our Lives” is scheduled to be published by NTI Upstream in October 2011, and has tremendous implications for the future of modern psychology, pediatrics, pregnancy, and women’s health.